State Board of Agricultural Research and Education


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September 18, 2019, Watford City, ND

The State Board of Agricultural Research and Education met for a regular meeting in Watford City, ND on September 18, 2019.  Members in Attendance: Jim Bahm, Mark Birdsall, Doug Goehring, Lance Gulleson, Larry Hoffman, Jerry Klein, Greg Lardy, Sarah Lovas, Dick Roland, Dean Wehri and Julie Zikmund.  Members Absent: Doug Bichler, Tracy Boe, Dean Bresciani and Brian Leier.

Chairman Birdsall called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m.  He welcomed members and guests, and invited everyone to make introductions. 

MOTION:  Jim Bahm made a motion to approve the agenda; seconded by Sarah Lovas.  Motion carried.

MOTION:  Larry Hoffman made a motion to approve the June 19, 2019 meeting minutes; seconded by Dick Roland.  Motion carried.

Mark Birdsall, SBARE Chair

Chairman Birdsall shared his comments regarding the upcoming input/testimony sessions and the Field Days held this summer.

Various board members reported on their Field Days attendance.  Many reported that there was a lot of interest, and that they were well-attended.  There was interest in hemp production, pollinators and resistant weeds.  SBARE members were encouraged to continue to attend Field Days. 

Administrative Updates by Dr. Greg Lardy

NDSU Extension:  There are currently three full-time district directors.  An arrangement has been explored to have area REC directors assume additional responsibilities as a pilot program during the upcoming year. 

Internship Program:  NDSU Extension is reimplementing the internship program this summer, offering five positions to work with county agents.

Web Audit:  A consulting firm is conducting a web audit to investigate if the NDSU Extension website is ADA compliant, and has any usability issues, especially with mobile devices.

North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station:  There will be a re-naming of the Vet Diagnostic Lab to the Bill Bowman Vet Diagnostic Lab in honor of his legacy, his time on the Senate.  The dedication ceremony is November 8, 2019.

Dr. Lardy also reported on current searches.

Administrative Updates on Behalf of President Bresciani:  Dr. Lardy reported that enrollment is down, 600 less students enrolled, resulting in approximately $6 million decrease.  Discussion was held regarding the enrollment decrease, as well as recruitment of international students or students further away from ND.  Members encouraged efforts to enhance visibility, as well as making it easier for students to apply via mobile devices and apps that are user friendly.

October 10, 2019 will be the launch of In Our Hands, the largest capital campaign in the history of NDSU.  This event occurs during Homecoming.

Discussion was held regarding the Extension openings at the county level, including the geographic regions of the openings.  Dr. Lardy reiterated the implementation of the Internship Program as a modest investment to expose students to a career path.

Input/Testimony Sessions

Chairman Birdsall stated that with harvest so late this year, perhaps the October 3 input/testimony session in Carrington should be cancelled.

MOTION:  Sarah Lovas made a motion to cancel the October 3, 2019 SBARE meeting and input/testimony session scheduled to be held in Carrington; seconded by Jim Bahm.  Motion carried.

The next scheduled SBARE meeting and input/testimony session is November 14-15, 2019.  The other scheduled SBARE meeting and input/testimony session is December 4, 2019 in Bismarck ND. 

Discussion was held regarding SBARE and the need for social media, especially to reach out to younger producers.  Dr. Lardy will move forward with a news release in regards to the input/testimony sessions, as well as update the SBARE website, allowing for direct input of comments and testimony.

Guest Speakers

Senator Dale Patten shared information in regards to the growth of the oil production, as well as the growth in Watford City. 

Daniel Stenberg, Economic Development Coordinator, expanded on the growth of Watford City. 

Lt. Governor Brent Sanford reiterated Watford City’s growth, specifically school enrollment, census and workforce, and sales tax growth.  Other topics included: the importance of Extension in regards to the quality of life and of research, new implications for a petroleum/chemical plant, and land use for technologies coming. 

NDSU Extension and Agricultural Experiment Station Presentations

  • Dr. Kevin Sedivec, Interim Director, Central Grasslands Research Extension Center – brine spill reclamation, EC numbers, seedling survival
  • Dr. Miranda Meehan, Extension Livestock Environmental Stewardship Specialist, NDSU Animal Sciences – brine spill discussions, reclamation conference, remediation tour
  • Dr. Tom DeSutter, Soil Science Program Leader and Professor, NDSU School of Natural Resource Sciences – pipeline reclamation, soil replacement, settling of pipelines
  • Marcia Hellandsaas, NDSU Extension Agent, McKenzie County Extension – community efforts, community coalition, education efforts
  • Daryl Ritchison, Director, North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) – Weather and Roads

Meeting adjourned 4:30 pm.
Respectfully submitted, Wendy Breitbach

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